Cannabis News NORML - It's Time for a Change!
  Two Marijuana Bills Die in Legislative Committee
Posted by CN Staff on January 21, 2010 at 07:36:17 PT
By Lillian Tucker, Seattle Times Staff Reporter 
Source: Seattle Times  

cannabis Olympia, WA -- It is the end of the road for the 2010 pot bills.

Today, the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee voted against two pieces of legislation, one that called for the legalization of marijuana, and would, among other things, make it available for sale — heavily taxed — at state liquor stores. The other would have reduced possession of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil one.

The legalization bill (HB 2401) was voted down 6-2. For a moment, HB 1177, which would have decriminalized marijuana, looked as though it might have a chance, but it too died, with a final vote of 5-3.

In his opening remarks to the committee, Chairman Chris Hurst, D-Enumclaw, said he found merit in all of the arguments, pro and con, but that it came down to the question of whether the federal government or the states should be in the business of regulating marijuana. Although he favors state regulation, Hurst said, he could not in good conscience vote for a bill that conflicted with federal law.

Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, did not agree. "This is a time to challenge the federal government. The only way we are going to do it is to legalize it and see where it goes," she said.

Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, argued that legalization would allow the state to regulate a product that has potential hazardous consequences. "A vote 'yes,' " he told his fellow committee members, "is a vote for control. A vote 'no' is a vote for continued chaos."

The debate between lawmakers was not always black and white. Committee Vice Chairman Al O'Brien, D-Mountlake Terrace, voted against the state-store bill but liked the idea that decriminalization would take pressure off local police departments. Reps. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, and Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, both said they would like to discuss possible changes in marijuana laws further, perhaps in a work session when they would have more time to devote to the topic.

"Don't count me all the way out, but count me out today because this is not the one [bill]," said Kirby.

But before voting "no," Kirby said that an issue as monumental as changing the regulation of marijuana should be put to the public for a vote. Next November he might get his wish.

An initiative filed a week ago Monday by the activist group Sensible Washington would legalize all adult marijuana possession, manufacturing and sales under state law.

Douglas Hiatt, a Seattle lawyer who is sponsoring the initiative, told The Associated Press that volunteers are lining up to collect the more than 241,000 signatures required to place it on the November ballot.

Don Skakie and Pam Haley, members of Seattle's Cannabis Defense Coalition, were present at the vote.

"I feel today's inactions were a lack of political courage and leadership," said Skakie.

"Now it is up to the people to lead," Haley said.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Author: Lillian Tucker, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Published: January 20, 2010
Copyright: 2010 The Seattle Times Company
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/wcleOkm7

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Comment #18 posted by brookie on January 22, 2010 at 06:14:33 PT
committee
Bills have been dying in committee for decades. The current Wisconsin bill will likely die in committee as have others in years past.Then we get it on the ballot and then the lawmakers do their best to take the right to grow away. Its happening in Michigan now and that will be the prohibs new strategy. I've been watching this for 30 years and its sad.

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Comment #17 posted by afterburner on January 21, 2010 at 16:23:39 PT
paul Armentano #2 Thanks
“Continued Chaos” is something few would support if we knew the full extent of prohibition.

If we see it on the video, if we hear it & feel it, if we recognize the connection between lack of regulation and black market violence and environmental destruction, then we progress toward true regulation NORMLization.



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Comment #16 posted by Storm Crow on January 21, 2010 at 16:13:53 PT
California court decision
Maybe this will take our local sheriff down a notch or two! He has stated in the local paper that if a medical grower's plants even LOOKED like they would produce more than 8 ounces, he'd bust them! I'm going to keep a copy of that article! Bless the California Supreme Court!

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Comment #15 posted by herbdoc215 on January 21, 2010 at 15:08:17 PT
I don't know how else to submit this but....
Crime | Government | Medical marijuana | Education | Prop 8 | Traffic | Westside L.A. NOW Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post » California Supreme Court strikes down limits on medical marijuana possession January 21, 2010 | 11:50 am

The California Supreme Court today struck down the state's limits on how much medical marijuana a patient can possess, concluding that the restrictions imposed by the Legislature were an unconstitutional amendment of a 1996 voter-approved initiative.

The decision means that patients and caregivers with a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana can now possess as much as is "reasonably related to the patient's current medical needs," a standard that the court established in a 1997 decision.

"I'm very pleased. They gave us exactly what we wanted," said Gerald F. Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University who argued the case for Patrick K. Kelly, a medical marijuana patient from Lakewood who was convicted of possession and cultivation. "This makes it very clear that all of the rights of patients under the Compassionate Use Act are fully preserved."

The initiative did not limit the amount of marijuana that a patient could possess or cultivate other than to require it be "personal medical purposes."

In 2003, the Legislature passed a law intended to clarify the initiative and give guidance to patients and law enforcement officials. The Legislature decided that patients could have up to 8 ounces of dried marijuana and grow as many as six mature or 12 immature plants. The law also allowed a patient to have more if a doctor stated that amount was insufficient.

The court concluded that those restrictions improperly amended the Compassionate Use Act, which was approved by voters and includes no provision that allows the Legislature to amend it.

-- John Hoeffel

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Comment #14 posted by herbdoc215 on January 21, 2010 at 14:54:28 PT
Hope, We're safe so far...
but a bunch of folks around us are not so lucky? These storms are really messing stuff up here being desert and all it just isn't built for this kind of rain but at least now the drought is over and lakes are full :) our only victim so far has been our pool which now looks like the Mississippi River...It comes in handy to be a highly prepared red-neck and we are busy helping those less fortunate around here! Looks like things are fixing to get hopping politically around here as well with the new Ca. Supreme court decision saying they can't play numbers games with us no more layered over the Los Angles Gestapo wanting to play games with the genie and the burner is set to get mighty interesting in the near future as some of us ain't never getting on the back of the bus again!!!! peace from the Humboldt Embassy (South Branch), steve

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Comment #13 posted by Hope on January 21, 2010 at 13:50:27 PT
Comment 9
Oh great. More storms.

I hope you are not staying home in one of those areas people have been told to evacuate.

We don't need to lose you, either!

I was wondering if any of us were in those storms out there.

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Comment #12 posted by dongenero on January 21, 2010 at 13:44:13 PT
more OT
Since the Supreme Court decision granted Constitutional rights to no citizen, non-human entities, I thought some rewrite of the Declaration of Independence may be in order:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal (to corporations), that they are endowed by their Creator (or certified public accountant), with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men (or corporations), deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed (or corporations of some of the governed), That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People or corporations, to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,.....

what do you think so far?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by dongenero on January 21, 2010 at 13:40:06 PT
Off topic
Today, the conservative members of the Supreme Court have extended individual's First Amendment, Constitutional right of free speech,......to corporate entities.

This opens the door for domestic, as well as foreign and multi-national corporations to heavily influence our elections and drown out YOUR voice.

What President does Saudi Oil want in the White House?

Just search for the articles. Most have had a benign heading about SCOTUS "easing restrictions on corporate election finance". The reality is far more serious as the SC finding is based on First Amendment being extended to non-human entities. In the First Amendment, rights are of individuals, the only such entity mentioned is a free press.

Roberts referred to companies being allowed to "speak". Aw, cute lil multi-national corporate fella, he's learning to talk. And he looks just like his Father!

Corporate entities are simply a pile of legal documents. It's really a way for the rich to increase their influence on elections. One vote is not enough for them. Damned Republicans have sold our Country out.

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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on January 21, 2010 at 13:32:19 PT
Great news
US SD: Signatures To Be Filed For Medical Marijuana Vote

"""Supporters have collected 30,000 signatures, far more than the 16,776 valid signatures needed to put the measure on the November ballot"""

http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v10/n057/a08.html?397

Pubdate: Wed, 20 Jan 2010

Source: Daily Republic, The (SD)

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by herbdoc215 on January 21, 2010 at 12:01:19 PT
Hope, you be careful as that weather you got
yesterday was from a string of 6 storms we've been getting here in SoCal for last week of which today is storm #4, record rains and flooding pus thunder and lightning...for a second last couple of days I thought I was back in Ky, as it looked and smelled tornado out here east of LA, (which only somebody whom has experienced a few can ever know what I mean?) and there is only one way it can head and that is towards you so be extra careful next couple of days. Dartanion is driving me nuts being bored and my yards tore all to pieces... but we haven't slid down the hill yet and for once the weather here is actually fun like back home but where you live it maybe a little more windy :) We gotta start protecting you special lady's better as y'all are our best asset:) peace, steve

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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 21, 2010 at 11:25:46 PT
At the Huffington Post
LA City Council Votes to Close 800 Marijuana Dispensaries

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rowan-moore-gerety/la-city-council-votes-to_b_431181.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by Hope on January 21, 2010 at 11:10:05 PT
News?
Anyone?

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by ripit on January 21, 2010 at 09:33:11 PT
sounds like
this kirby dude is a somewhat reasonable. too bad he didn't grow him a set and push this thru for the ppl hes there to represent in the first place! and pearson will never have any, poor clueless bastard! imo!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by runruff on January 21, 2010 at 09:27:57 PT
"afraid, for some reason,"
The same reason a "pleasure girl" will not insult her johns!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on January 21, 2010 at 09:17:21 PT
Politicians; purposely weak, pitiful, and disgust
ing.

Amen Hope!

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by Hope on January 21, 2010 at 09:13:01 PT
“Continued Chaos”
Politicians?

How many times have I heard one say, the public or a referendum shouldn't decide this cannabis stuff? Now this one says the legislature shouldn't do it, but the public.

It's a foolish game of Hot Potato and too many of them are so afraid they will somehow get burnt.

They know where the majority of the public stands... but they are afraid, for some reason, to represent them in this matter. Someone might make fun of them? They are cowardly. They lack courage and strength. They're purposely weak, pitiful, and disgusting.

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Comment #2 posted by paul Armentano on January 21, 2010 at 08:37:04 PT
Washington: Lawmakers Vote For “Continued Chaos”
Washington: Lawmakers Vote For “Continued Chaos”

Thu, 21 Jan 2010 01:15:56 By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director Share This Article They say that the will of politicians often lags behind the sentiment of the public. Nowhere is this adage more clear than when it comes to marijuana law reform.

It was business as usual today in Olympia, as lawmakers on the House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness voted down a pair of bills aimed at reforming the state’s failed criminal marijuana laws.

House Bill 2401 sought to regulate the adult production, use, and distribution of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. Here was the roll call vote:

Hurst (D) Chair — N O’Brien (D) Vice Chair — N Pearson (R) — N Klippert (R) — N Appleton (D) — Y Goodman (D) — Y Kirby (D) — N Ross (R) — N

House Bill 1177 was much more limited in scope, seeking simply to reclassify minor marijuana possession offenses from a criminal misdemeanor to a fine-only civil infraction. (Note, its Senate companion bill, SB 5615, awaits floor action in the Senate.) This change, known as decriminalization, is already the law in over a dozen states.

Here was the roll call vote:

Hurst (D) Chair — N O’Brien (D) Vice Chair — Y Pearson (R) — N Klippert (R) — N Appleton (D) — Y Goodman (D) — Y Kirby (D) — N

The legislative defeats came despite nearly two hours of public testimony, nearly all of which was in support of one or both reform proposals.

So what reasons did lawmakers give for voting ‘no’ on these reforms? Here’s just a few excuses.

Committee Chair, democrat Christopher Hurst alleged that as a state lawmakers he is sworn to uphold both state and federal law, and claimed that both proposals would be in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. (For the record, neighboring Oregon first decriminalized marijuana possession offenses in 1973 and has never run afoul of federal law. Likewise, New Mexico’s government has licensed the production and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes without incident.)

Republican Brad Klippert stated, “As a law enforcement officer … on countless occasions I’ve seen the negative effects of marijuana on people’s lives.” (By that logic I suppose that the Representative would also vote to criminally prohibit alcohol, tobacco, and fatty foods.)

Fellow Republican Kirk Pearson claimed that just by lawmakers talking about the bills they were encouraging teens to try marijuana. (”I don’t want to do anything today that would make drug use seem safer to teenagers,” he said, even though by his own logic he was better off keeping his mouth shut.)

Finally, Democrat Rep. Steve Kirby alleged that he supported the reforms, in theory, but then inexplicably said that such changes in policy “require a vote of the public,” not action by the legislature. (Um, was marijuana prohibition enacted by a vote of the public?) Ultimately, however, Rep. Kirby may get his wish, as NORML Legal Committee member Douglas Hiatt has filed a petition to put the marijuana legalization issue on the November 2010 state ballot, and a recent statewide poll shows that if the election was held today it would win.

In the end, however, Democrat Rep. Roger Goodman stood as the minority voice of reason when he told his colleagues: “A ‘no’ vote … is a vote for prohibition and the illegal markets that it spawns. A ‘yes’ vote is a vote for control. … A ‘no’ is a vote for continued chaos.”

It’s a lesson that the public has already learned — even if a majority of their elected officials have not. Perhaps now is the time to teach them.

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Comment #1 posted by tintala on January 21, 2010 at 08:21:36 PT:

Washington couldnt pull it through but NJ did!
By a landslide, according to mpp.org.

The bill had been passed by the New Jersey Legislature on January 11, passing by 48-14 in the Assembly and 25-13 in the Senate.

The new law will not only protect medical marijuana patients from arrest and jail but also allows for the regulated dispensing of medical marijuana. When the law is implemented, it's likely that there will be at least six dispensaries for patients to obtain their medicine, two in each part of the state. Doctors will be able to recommend up to two ounces of marijuana to patients within a 30-day period.



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